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Old 01-12-2004, 06:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sharpton slams Dean's record on minorities in his government

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=694&ncid=716

Dean Defends Record on Race in Debate
Mon Jan 12, 4:17 AM ET

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa - Howard Dean (news - web sites), a former governor of mostly white Vermont, was put on the defensive on his record on race in the last debate before Democratic presidential campaign voting kicks off in a week.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton forced Dean to acknowledge Sunday that no blacks or Hispanics served in his cabinet during 12 years as governor.

"While I respect the fact you brought race into this campaign, you ought to talk freely and openly about whether you went out of the box to try to do something about race in your home state and have experience with working with blacks and browns at peer level, not as just friends you might have had in college," Sharpton said.

Dean responded, "I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to civil rights in the United States of America."

The exchange came during the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum, a two-hour debate focusing on issues important to blacks and Hispanics. It was the third debate in Iowa in eight days.

Recent polling shows Dean and Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (news - web sites) in a close race in the state, with Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) of Massachusetts and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina trailing. The outcome will begin the winnowing process in the race for the nomination. Dean hopes for a victory to validate his claim as campaign front-runner. Gephardt's aides say he must win. Kerry and Edwards hope for strong finishes to sustain their campaigns in New Hampshire, whose primary follows Iowa by eight days.

"We're past all this preliminary stuff. It's time to choose a president," Edwards said.

Dean revealed some clues to his plan to redistribute the burden for paying taxes away from the middle class. He said he examining a way to increase corporate taxes and perhaps cut payroll — or Social Security (news - web sites) — taxes.

He said his first priority would be to balance the budget, which will require repealing all of President Bush (news - web sites)'s tax cuts. Gephardt challenged him about whether he could cut payroll taxes without harming Social Security.

"I think cutting payroll taxes is not a bad idea," Dean said. "It's certainly something we're going to look at. Under no circumstances will we take the money to cut payroll taxes out of the Social Security trust fund. That would be absurd."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (news - web sites) of Ohio jumped into the fray against Dean, criticizing the front-runner for saying he could balance the budget without cutting Pentagon (news - web sites) spending. Kerry said Dean was trying to have it both ways on the Iraq (news - web sites) war, speaking out as an opponent but having spoke in support of congressional legislation in fall 2002 that would have given Bush the authority to use force in Iraq, so long as he notified Congress in advance.

State senator Ken Cheuvront of Arizona said he's tired of the Dean attacks. A member of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, Cheuvront said after the debate that he has decided to endorse Dean because of all the criticism. "It's starting to look petty," he said. "He's the only viable candidate who can win, who has the money to beat Bush."

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said Dean's record is fair play for rivals who are mad about his rise, but she thinks Sharpton's attacks caught him off guard.

"But I also think that was a low blow to attack him on his Cabinet, the people he chose to put around him versus his policies," she said.

Racial politics have not been prominent in the snow-white confines of Iowa and New Hampshire. But the primary contest moves to more diverse states beginning on Feb. 3, including South Carolina, where nearly half the voters are expected to be minorities and Sharpton is looking to make a mark on the race.

Dean initially denied Sharpton's accusation that he didn't have one Hispanic or black holding a senior policy position as governor, saying he had "a senior member of my staff on my fifth floor."

Sharpton said he was asking about the Cabinet, which has a small number of members.

"No, we did not," conceded Dean, whose state has a population that is nearly 98 percent white.

Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun chastised Sharpton for instigating a "racial screaming match." Sharpton responded that he just wants Dean to be held accountable for his record.

Moments later, Dean noted that he has the endorsements of more members of the Congressional Black Caucus (news - web sites) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus than any other presidential hopeful.

But Sharpton ridiculed that, saying, "I think you only need co-signers if your credit is bad."

For much of the evening, it seemed that a candidate's place in the polls dictated how often and sharply he or she was attacked.

"I was beginning to hope someone would attack me," said Sen. Joe Lieberman (news - web sites). No one did. The Connecticut senator is not competing in the caucuses, and lags in the New Hampshire polling.


<B>Flipping through the channels last night, I caught the piece of the debate where Sharpton attacked Dean on his record of minorities in his cabinet. It raised an interesting question. Basically Sharpton called Dean out on the fact that he did not have any minorities in his cabinet in any of the 12 years he was in office. Sharpton furthered his point by saying that governors across the country import talent to help run the state and the composition of the state's population shouldn't have any thing to do with the lack of minority representation in the cabinet.

I'm not really sure about my feelings on this attack. On one hand I am thoroughly impressed with it from a strategic/political point of view. Sharpton caught Dean flat footed and it was apparent in the look on his face at the end of the exchange.

On the other, I'm not sure I buy into the whole racial composition of a cabinet argument. Certainly someone doesn't have to be black or brown to represent the causes of minorities. This type of thinking could be detrimental as the "best" candidate may be disregarded in order to make the cabinet meet some diversity standard. But then I think about the groups/functions that Dean must have attended during his tenure as governor and I wonder, in 12 years did he not come across some outstanding advisor of color that would have been a great addition to the cabinet? There are many politicians who make a point of creating a diverse cabinet and it seems a little odd that it wasn't any sort of priority in the Dean administration, especially since an argument could be made that, VT being predominantly white, minorities need to be represented at high levels in the government.

I don't know that I care about this issue at all, and at this point it doesn't alter my perception of Dean, but I'll be interested to hear how his camp spins this. Perhaps some insights from the other members here will help me clarify the issue.
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Last edited by onetime2; 01-12-2004 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In a state that is 96.2% white of non-hispanic origin (only 0.5% black), this is kind of a non-issue. Then again, Dean does get a free pass on guns because his state is basically homicide-free, with a strong hunting tradition, so him getting heat on this issue is fair game.

I have no doubt that he'd follow in Bush and Clinton's slightly patronizing path of making sure that at least one member of the Cabinet is black.
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Old 01-12-2004, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think that this is a "big hit" for Dean, but it may siphon off a few points here or there and with the Iowa Caucuses getting tighter statistically, it could propel Gephardt into first place. This could change the climate of the primary taking the "crowned prince" image away from Dean.

I have to agree that this was an astute political ploy by Sharpton, who is simply trying to get enough delegates in the primaries to have a say in the party platform come convention time.
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Old 01-12-2004, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is Al Sharpton typical race baiting. I don't care for Dean at all but Sharpton less.

Sharpton has never admitted the Brawley affair was nothing but a lie. And he receives a pass for it.
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Old 01-12-2004, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Al Sharpton must be one of the most racist people in the world.

Honestly I can't stand the idea of Affirmative Action. People should be given jobs based on merit NOT RACE! Affirmative Action should not be about getting people jobs based on race but instead it should be about getting equal schooling for innercities and the suberbs, to elliminate the source of the problem and not just treat the symptoms.

People like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson who pull the race card on every issue even when it isn't an issue disgust me. The next thing you will hear them say is every 4th president should have to be a minority (but of course they won't mention women).
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I will take Sharpton seriously when he pays back the 80, 000 he made off the Tawana Brawley Hoax.
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would have loved for Dean to respond with "I just hired the qualified people...... *5 second pause* and darkies are never qualified to work for me" just to see the stupified look on Shaprton's face.

*not actually advocating racism and what not*
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nanofever
I would have loved for Dean to respond with "I just hired the qualified people...... *5 second pause* and darkies are never qualified to work for me" just to see the stupified look on Shaprton's face.
I think he would have grinned on the inside, because that's exactly the kind (not the exact language, mind you) of thing that a showboater like Sharpton is going for in this nomination battle.
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sharpton's like the sideshow in the entire election, just about the only enterntainment value in this entire campaign. I agree with SPARHAWK, no minority cabinet members on a 95+% white state, this statement is a non-issue. Hopefully people will understand this and not rail on Dean too much for it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for railing on the issues that I don't agree with Dean for, but the beefs I have with him are legit (to me at least). Anyways, I'm just kinda rambling here, and I'm gonna stop.
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is bad news for the Democratic Party when Al Sharpton comes across as the voice of reason in the debates leading up to their Primaries.
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Last edited by madp; 01-12-2004 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 01-12-2004, 09:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by madp
It is bad news for the Democratic Party when Al Sharpton comes across as the voice of reason in the debates leading up to their Primaries.
Hi, I'm Nano's pet monkey, I'm typing this because his brain exploded when he saw the words "Al Sharpton" and "voice of reason" in a postively constructed sentence.
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Old 01-12-2004, 09:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Al Sharpton is clearly insane. Nothing to see here. Move on.
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by archer2371
Sharpton's like the sideshow in the entire election, just about the only enterntainment value in this entire campaign. I agree with Superbelt, no minority cabinet members on a 95+% white state, this statement is a non-issue. Hopefully people will understand this and not rail on Dean too much for it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for railing on the issues that I don't agree with Dean for, but the beefs I have with him are legit (to me at least). Anyways, I'm just kinda rambling here, and I'm gonna stop.
Though I fully agree with the statement on it being unnecessary to find a minority to fill a cabinet place in a state with a 95%+ white-non hispanic population, the credit for the statement belongs to Sparhawk, not me. This is my first post in this thread.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Endymon32
I will take Sharpton seriously when he pays back the 80, 000 he made off the Tawana Brawley Hoax.
It's not about Sharpton at all, or about whether this is a "serious" accusation. I can't stand the Reverand but you have to give him credit for keeping himself involved at the level he does even though he has no real substance. He has built a strong base of support and makes statements that guarantee he gets attention.

The line of questioning was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. The first is it's not often in a race that's this mature where there's a real "gotcha" moment where a totally new type of attack is let loose without the "victim" of it having any kind of prepared response. The second is that it may cut away a bit of Dean's support in the African American community giving Sharpton a fair amount of sway at a later date. Certainly, if Dean loses a little support in that community and he becomes the Democratic candidate, he's more than likely going to have to offer up something to Sharpton for a public reconciling where Sharpton minimizes the lack of minorities in the cabinet angle.
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Dean should of asked Al if he had any white, hispanic, asian, or whatever members in his party.
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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he should have asked if a majority of his cabinate is white and if not why is he being raceist against white people
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I was watching the clip and I really wanted Dean to just scream, "Its Vermont ***-hole! We don't have any black people!" I'm sure he has minorities working in his administration, they just aren't in his cabinet.
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Tman,

That would have been hilarious...
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Though I fully agree with the statement on it being unnecessary to find a minority to fill a cabinet place in a state with a 95%+ white-non hispanic population, the credit for the statement belongs to Sparhawk, not me. This is my first post in this thread.
Thanks for pointing that out, man, I really need to look in to if I have dyslexia...
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Al is such a racist piece of shit...
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tman144
I was watching the clip and I really wanted Dean to just scream, "Its Vermont ***-hole! We don't have any black people!" I'm sure he has minorities working in his administration, they just aren't in his cabinet.
Anyone watch the Jimmy Kimmel show last night? They had a sketch of a q&a with a black couple from vermont. When asked how many black people were in vermont, the replied just the two of us. Then said they weren't sure they were black but were actually white people. It was pretty funny.
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Who cares what Al Sharpton says? I think "race-baiting" has been mentioned a few times - 100% appropriately in my opinion.
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